Doctor Who

Sep. 12th, 2006 10:13 am
janegraddell: (Default)
[personal profile] janegraddell
Note: No real spoilers here, even for those who haven't seen the David Tennant episodes. Unless saying that David Tennant has sexy hair is a spoiler, in which case it's already too late.

Okay. Why didn't anyone make me watch the new Doctor Who ages ago? No, you all merely taunted me with your gushing and squeeing and nifty icons without ever saying, "OMG your life will have no meaning until you've seen the new Doctor Who!"

I love it. I love all of it. I love Chris Eccleston. I love David Tennant. I love Rose. I love Jack. I love Micky, and Jackie. I love the new TARDIS. I love the stuff they kept. I love the stuff they changed. I love the stories, and the acting, and the special effects.

I'm actually not sure where to start talking. Okay, so it lacks the plastic rocks, suspiciously fruit-shaped planets, and spaceship crashes rendered by dropping models into oatmeal. But the stories are still the same kind of stories, and the Doctor is still the Doctor.

One of the reasons I think I love the new series is that the changes are rendered subtley. There aren't any huge banners with arrows pointing at the Doctor and neon sparkly text flashing "He's all alone and full of angst!" or "No Longer Asexual!" It's all revealed as part of the stories, as needed, and not to serve the cause of making the series dark, edgy, and sexy.

There are few easier--and lazier--means of character/story development than piling on the tragedy, but the Doctor Who writers have so far managed not to whack their viewers over the head with "Oh, the tragedy of it all!" That's not what the Doctor is all about. Losing Gallifrey and his entire species has certainly changed him, and it's now part of who he is, but it's not everything. He can still have fun, and laugh, and be snotty and superior without stopping every five minutes to remind the viewers of how Tragic his life is.

As for the sexy part, all they really need is for Chris Eccleston to slouch in a few doorways and David Tennant to muss up his hair. Doesn't take a lot of effort.

Honestly, though, when I first started watching the show twenty years ago, there was a firm "no hanky-panky in the TARDIS" rule. No big deal, because the show wasn't about romance. It still isn't about romance, but now there's just one more facet to the relationships between the Doctor and Rose and Jack. I think it's wonderful that the Doctor can be seen to genuinely care for the other characters, and love them, and even fall in love. It's another opportunity to tell good stories, and so far the writers have done a terrific job using love/romance/sex as an effective story tool without turning the show into a soap opera.

The stories themselves have so far been excellent. The writers don't tend to pull their punches, but they've also come up with some truly hysterical moments. I like that the plots aren't all fluff and laughs, but also glad that the humor and whimsy is still there. The Doctor is still able to make fun of himself, and I think in some ways the writers feel more free to poke at him, which is all to the good.

I could go on and on...and on, especially about Rose and Jack and the other regulars, but I'm going to shut up now and listen to some commentary. :)

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janegraddell

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